Both Bath and Oxford are experiencing a significant increase in retail footprint. Great for the ringing cash tills – not so great for the already congested city centres that these happy shoppers are flooding into.

As with Bath, Oxford is being overburdened on the presumption that all growth is good growth, without any countervailing assumption of constraint and consolidation.

Oxford’s new Westgate shopping area is already undermining Oxford County Council’s plans for a zero-emission zone to address the dire air quality problem. There is already evidence of increased traffic and associated pollution relating to the new shopping site.

Experts are saying that the increase in parking capacity in the city centre is a ‘significant contributor’ to the problems. Another case of a council talking green, yet doing the exact opposite.

We will see more retail units on the old Cinema site in TW, and more retail space coming as part of Royal Victoria Place’s expansion plans. Oxford is clearly suffering from retail overdevelopment, and they already have a Park and Ride scheme. We don’t.

In summary:
More retail space on the way.
More ‘happy shoppers’ in the centre of TW.
More congestion, on top of what already exists.
Unacceptable pollution levels.
A council who flatly refuses to embrace a Park and Ride scheme.

But ‘growth is growth’ and the rest will look after itself…..won’t it?